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Carnaval: Fulfillment

This past week marked the beginning of Lent, a fasting season in the Christian calendar lasting about 40 days and concluding with the Easter holiday. Lent is often preceded by revelry and celebration. Depending on where you are in the world, these celebrations are known as Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, and more. Growing up, I knew it as Carnaval. Many people in the United States associate Carnaval with Brazil and its spectacular celebrations; but Carnaval is not unique to Brazil. Pre-Lent festivities grew out of communities around the world heavily influenced by the Catholic Church. Carnaval precedes Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the 40-day Lenten period associated with sacrifice. Historically, observers of Lent would stop or limit their consumption...

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Peppermint Sugar Cookies

Recipe by Elizebett Rocha Bento Eslinger These chewy sugar cookies have a hint of peppermint and a delicate crunch of candy cane. Perfect for the winter holiday season! Makes 18-24 cookies. Ingredients 185 g (about 1 ½ cups) flour, sifted ¼ tsp table salt ¼ tsp baking powder, sifted ⅛ tsp baking soda, sifted 113 g (½ cup) unsalted butter, softened 175 g (~1 cup) granulated sugar ¼ tsp vanilla extract ¼ tsp peppermint extract 1 large egg, beaten, room temperature 38 g crushed candy cane (about 3 whole candy canes or about ¼ cup crushed) ⅓ cup powdered sugar (for rolling balls of dough before baking) Directions Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets...

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Recipe: All Meals and Days Pumpkin Pie

Recipe by Elizebett Rocha Bento Eslinger   In my house, a slice of pumpkin pie isn’t just for dessert; it’s also breakfast, an afternoon snack, or a birthday celebration centerpiece. We’ve eaten a lot of pumpkin pie over the years! While seemingly simple, getting the filling set perfectly without a soggy pastry is a delicate balancing act. Blind baking the crust (i.e. cooking the crust for a period of time before adding the filling) helps the crust flake beautifully without overcooking the pumpkin custard. Substitution note: if you don’t have a 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk, you can replace it with 100 g (about ½ cup) of granulated sugar, 50 g (about ¼ cup packed) brown sugar, and 12...

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Cranberry-Orange Relish Recipe

Recipe by Elizebett Rocha Bento Eslinger This recipe may not settle the debate on canned versus homemade cranberry sauce, but it's likely to be a hit at the Thanksgiving table or as a spread on turkey sandwiches. And it's super quick to make! It has a lovely citrus zing, doesn’t require cooking, and stores well in the fridge for up to a week.  Ingredients 12 oz fresh cranberries zest from 1 medium orange 1 medium orange (washed, peel and pith removed, and cut into chunks) 3/4 cup granulated sugar 1 dash of salt 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon Directions Put all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Scrape into a serving bowl (or a storage container if...

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